(Found in a drawer I was cleaning out; from context, I’m guessing written in around 1985.)
1. In 1836, a book called Society Life was published in London.
2. Somewhere, the doctor is or is not examining a patient.
3. We live in very uncertain times.
I am at a cocktail party. The cocktails are quite good, if heavy on the lemon. The wives are clustered around the piano, singing tunes that they think they remember from younger days; perhaps some of them do. In the kitchen there is a woman without any clothes, being casually examined by most of the single men, and not a few of the husbands. She smiles engagingly.
I ask Camille, whose watch (an expensive foreign brand) is always accurate, what time it is.
“Ten forty-two,” she says.
2. The signs of the zodiac are twelve: The Dasher, the Dancer, the Prancer, the Fox, Kafka, the Swan, the Lion. But I am rambling.
3. In times of uncertainty, truth will be seen to come from far places, at great expense (at least one week’s pay for the average citizen).
My ship sails at midnight. I do not know the time; Camille is nowhere to be seen. I wander in the fog. There may be a dock nearby, because of the foghorns. I associate foghorns with illness, because of something I think happened to me as a youth. I fear I will miss my ship; if only I could remember the name, the dock, the time, Camille’s address.
I grope in the fog for truth, and grasp a scrap of newspaper blowing in the wind. I decide it will do.
(I suspect I’d been reading alot of Barthelme…)